Ferrari has 'a very high mountain to climb' after 2022 F1 Azerbaijan GP debacle

Charles Leclerc driving the #16 Ferrari F1-75 during the 2022 Azerbaijan GP (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc driving the #16 Ferrari F1-75 during the 2022 Azerbaijan GP (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Ferrari analyst Marc Gene believes the team has an uphill task ahead for the upcoming race weekends. The former F1 driver believes the Scuderia had their strategies perfect at the Azerbaijan GP, and the setback due to retirements makes the loss even more painful.

Reflecting upon the team’s performance in Baku, Gene said:

“Every time we’ve had a DNF with Charles, he’s been leading the race. That is even more painful today [as] we did the right strategy call. But then you don’t see it in the result. So whenever we make a wrong strategy call, we are also leading. Every time we make a mistake, reliability or strategy, we lose 25 points and when we don’t make that mistake, [it’s] not always we win. So [it’s] very painful.”
PostBaku update: Charles’ engine arrives at the factory tomorrow, an initial assessment should be completed by the evening.Hydraulic components from Carlos’ car have already been examined. A short-term fix is in place for Canada, while work is on-going on mid/long-term solutions.

The Spanish driver believes the team has a long road ahead by gaining the lost points from the current weekend. While Carlos Sainz retired on Lap 10 due to a hydraulics issue, his teammate Charles Leclerc retired on Lap 20 following an engine blowout. A bigger concern for the team, however, is the engine failures on other Ferrari-powered cars such as Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo. Although the problems might not be similar, it is going to be a matter of scrutiny in the next few weeks.

Praising the team’s strategy in Azerbaijan, Gene said:

“We were more aggressive than Red Bull. I’m sure it was the right strategy call, so that shows the team is not so influenced about such a difficult week we had after Monaco. But if you think about the championship, and you look now at the classification, it’s a very high mountain to climb. You can do it with a car as fast as ours. But today is something worrying because [it was] not only [us] – two other cars had other issues.”

Ferrari's pace is a positive encouragement or the team

Marc Gene feels the silver-lining in the cloud has been Ferrari’s pace at a circuit like Baku where they do have the quickest car. The Maranello test driver believes their car suits every circuit and could have won the race. Comparing their points loss to Red Bull at the start of the year, Gene believes the Prancing Horse can swing its luck around in the season and make up for the points deficit.

Outlining the positives at the Azerbaijan weekend, Gene said:

“Of course there are positives. The main one is that was a very high-speed track where you would have thought maybe Red Bull were stronger, and I think Charles would have won the race. The hard tyres, they made it to the end with Ricciardo and Gasly – they did many laps. So we have the pace, that’s the main thing. You want to have the pace and then, from that, you have the reliability.”
Onwards we march, together as one 🤜🤛#essereFerrari 🔴

Comparing their dismal weekend to Red Bull’s earlier in the year, the Ferrari test driver said:

“It’s incredible how Red Bull have got back so many points. We can do that the same way and with the car we have, for sure we can do that. Now we have to see [what] the reliability issue is. You know, if it’s a one-off thing or it’s something when you have an engine problem, sometimes you have to redesign and produce and it’s not something you do from one week to another. But the good thing is the car is fast on all types of tracks. We went from Monaco to Baku and we got pole and we were the quickest car in the race. So why not get back these 50 points?”

Starting the season with a dominant lead in the championship, Ferrari’s retirements in Baku has allowed Mercedes to bite at their feet in the points tally. While ironing out reliability issues will be part of the problem, they are due for penalties in Canada, which will put them on the back foot for another weekend.

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Edited by Anurag C
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